With Wednesday’s 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline nearly upon us, the biggest question to be answered is whether any team is willing to make the biggest change of all by dealing for a goaltender.
With the speculation running rampant, NHL insiders think the Flyers, Capitals and Blackhawks are seriously considering making a change in net before the clock strikes zero.
There aren’t many goalies available, but there’s talk that all three teams have looked into the likes of Florida’s Tomas Vokoun, Dallas’ Marty Turco, Nashville’s Dan Ellis and the Islanders’ Dwayne Roloson.
Of course, with money so tight, all of those goalies could remain with their current teams.
With Ray Emery lost for the season to a hip injury, the Flyers are the most desperate to add a goalie.
Still, Philly GM Paul Holmgren can’t afford to take on a $5-million (all terms US) salary like Vokoun’s without dumping some serious coin.
Off the glass
While the Predators want a high-end prospect or No. 1 pick for D Dan Hamhuis, the word is Nashville GM David Poile may not move the potential unrestricted free agent. The Predators believe they can make a long playoff run and if they can’t get a winger who can help right away, Poile may hold on to Hamhuis. He might be the most coveted blueliner on the market. The Bruins, Canucks, Flyers, Devils, Rangers and Kings have all made a pitch to Nashville. A lot of teams find the asking price insane ... The Blues sent out an e-mail stating W Brad Boyes and D Carlo Colaiacovo are available. There may be interest in Boyes, who has two years left on his contract with a cap hit of $4 million ... An NHL executive on the Senators’ acquisition of 6-foot-6 D Andy Sutton from the Islanders: “I’d go get size and strength for the playoffs as well. He will help.”
Around the boards
After dealing W Alex Ponikarovsky to the Penguins on Wedndesday night for D Martin Skoula and minor-league W Luca Caputi, the Leafs are expected to move Fs Lee Stempniak and Wayne Primeau before the deadline. Leafs GM Brian Burke will likely be looking for draft picks ... The Bruins, Penguins, Predators and Rangers are all interested in Columbus W Raffi Torres. Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson wants to make a deal, but several teams were complaining he was asking for too much in return ... The reason Florida may have to keep D Dennis Seidenberg: He has a $1.25-million signing bonus payable at the end of the season. That is tough for anyone to swallow ... The Thrashers were trying to get D Pavel Kubina signed to an extension Tuesday. He can become a UFA in July and the club would like to keep him, but not at the $5-million cap hit he currently has ... The Habs were offering around D Paul Mara.
Rumours du jour
Everybody will be keeping a close eye on what happens to Carolina W Ray Whitney. He is one of the most sought-after players on the trade market, but GM Jim Rutherford is seeking a No. 1 draft pick and a top prospect in exchange for Whitney. To make matters more difficult, Whitney wants a three-year deal worth $3.5 million per season. Whitney doesn’t want to move his family twice and he has a no-movement clause in his contract, which allows him to control his destiny. “I still think he’ll agree to be a rental,” said one Western Conference executive. If that’s the case, Whitney could end up with the Kings ... The Senators aren’t close on a deal with D Anton Volchenkov, but it’s unlikely he will be traded. The Senators offered Volchenkov a five-year deal and he turned it down ... Another player Rutherford is trying to move is D Joe Corvo. There is plenty of interest. The Canucks, Capitals and Bruins are all looking for blueliners ... Before acquiring Sutton, Ottawa inquired about Tampa D Kurtis Foster, but the Lightning didn’t want to deal him.